Beyond the playful workplace

The past decade has seen a rise in the concept of the playful workplace. Inspired, amongst others, by Google’s unique and unconventional culture, it’s not uncommon to see shipping containers, climbing walls, caravans and even pirate ships vying for space with the photocopier and filing cabinet. It seems it isn’t enough to have staircases in offices these days, we need a helter-skelter slide or fireman’s pole to transport our giggling employees from floor to floor. But do these seemingly frivolous additions to the workplace have a benefit beyond that of attracting and retaining a happy workforce? (more…)

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A place for identity

For much of my life I have lived in, or close to, the city of Southampton. As a kid growing up in the 70’s and 80’s we lived just a short ferry ride from the city centre – close enough for the sound of the foghorns to rattle our windows whenever the sea mist rolled in. I still live close by. It’s a place that I feel I know pretty well and it’s a place that has a lot going for it. (more…)


Soaring ahead of time…

Occasionally, someone designs something that is so ground-breaking, so leftfield, so far ahead of it’s time, that it is misunderstood, ridiculed or even discarded before it’s given a chance to shine. This is true in every creative discipline; in architecture, fashion, art, product design, the performing arts, music, car design, hair styling, cake decorating… and it’s true in branding.

Twenty years ago when British Airways made the undoubtedly audacious decision to move away from their quintessentially British tailfins to a series of striking, but seemingly unconnected ethnic patterns, reactions were polarised. (more…)


Saluting the Tour de Playgroup

So the Tour de Playgroup, our annual charity bike ride, is over for another year and we’re already missing the banter in the studio. This year, as last, there were no sprint finishes, no chasing peloton, no fanfares or winners medals, just three very tired looking guys coasting wearily to a halt near Brighton Pier. (more…)

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Tour de Playgroup: Poster 1

To commemorate our charity bike ride in aid of Tommy’s we have designed a set of posters to represent our intrepid journey from our office here in London to our office on the south coast.

We will be releasing one every day, from now until Wednesday 17 September. (more…)

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Blood, sweat and gears

So the Tour de Playgroup is less than five weeks away and I thought I would give a brief update on our training and perhaps just a few thoughts on why the challenge is so important to me. I think it’s safe to say that some of us are taking training more seriously than others – I am most definitely one of the ‘others’. Kudos to Paul for getting out in his lycra come rain or shine. (more…)

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Playgroup joins the DBA

Playgroup have recently become members of the Design Business Association (DBA) – the trade organisation for the UK design industry. The DBA has a remit to promote professional excellence and to build productive partnerships between commerce and the design industry. The end goal is to champion effective design that improves the quality of people’s lives. (more…)

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A winning tittle!

The beers were flowing and the beards were growing at the annual Graphic Design Pub Quiz last night. It’s the grudge match of the year, pitting a dozen teams of design freaks and type geeks against each other in a battle of huge insignificance. (more…)

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Inky Mayhem

The Playgroup gang recently ‘pulled a sicky’ and indulged in a spot of inky mayhem, at a screen printing workshop at Print Club London. In an increasingly digital world, screen printing is a refreshingly imperfect analogue process. The workshop gave us the opportunity to roll up our sleeves, get creative and get messy – yes even the bean counters! (more…)

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